Me & My Car: life off-road with Andre Alipate and his Polaris pair
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We talk to Andre Alipate about life off-road with the Red Stag Timber Hunters Club and their Polaris pair
Tell us about the show’s Polarises ...
We are running two new models from the Polaris ATV range — the 2019 Ranger XP 1000 HD EPS and the 2019 General 4 1000. Both wield the slick, smooth and grunty 1000cc electronic fuel injected four-stroke twin-cylinder engines and are harnessed through the Polaris Automatic PVT transmission.
Why did you choose the Polaris?
Polaris has been round since the mid-80s, and with the Ranger there’s a good 20 years of innovation wrapped into the current model. We pride ourselves on breaking ground with what we capture on film in the great outdoors, so there was a matchup between what we do and what Polaris stands for.
How do they drive?
The General is a lower profile, faster sports car-type drive and handling. The Ranger sits slightly higher and is more of a workhorse in attitude and approach.
How much can you fit in them?
The XP Ranger is a beast with an industry-leading 1.1tonne towing capacity and an 800kg payload capacity. We can comfortably fit three crew with all our gear and have room and capacity to spare. That is usually taken up with meat and the spoils of our escapades. rear and front rack systems comfortably store hogs and deer. The General fits four people safety in its low-profile bucket seats, and has a towing capacity of 680kg and a payload capacity of 580kg.
100-120 km/h in high ratios.
Most extreme thing you have done in this vehicle?
Doing steep declines and river crossings in the Ranger makes things interesting. Taking them up into the headwater systems of the larger South Island river catchments and seeing how close we can get them to the main divide. Also, flying through the alpine tussock country at top speeds in the General is exhilarating.
How far south and north, west and east have you been?
We’ve used them from the Deep South to the Far North and the full breadth east and west of the country, including way up the Mohaka, the Central Plateau, Marlborough, inland Kaikouras, South Canterbury, Central Otago and Southland.
Favourite trip for the show?
A late summer chamois and early stag hunt in the Otago high country. I was partnered with good mate and regular host Anto Hall and Marty Verry from Red Stag Timber. It was the new General 4’s maiden voyage and we covered a huge amount of country that would take weeks on foot. It also allowed us to take a few luxuries.
What do you keep in them?
Tools, water and spare fuel. Repairs and maintenance and extra juice.
If you had to describe it as a well-known person?
I’d describe the Ranger XP1000 as John Rambo, the US Army Special Forces soldier skilled in many aspects of survival, weaponry, hand-to-hand combat and guerrilla warfare, who can take a shellacking and still keep fighting.
What is your everyday drive?
A 2019 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport VRX.
Other vehicles in your garage?
A Volkswagen Golf V6 4Motion and a Nissan Navara STX.
Your first car?
A little red 1990 Daihatsu Mira. Loved it ’cause it ran on the smell of an oily rag. Loathed it ’cause it was so small. It was a laugh passing it on to my taller but younger brother.
Any cars you’ve regretted selling?
A 1978 Ford XC Coupe.
Your dream car?
Right now with a growing family and wanting to include them on the adventures in the outdoors, I’d probably opt for a super-practical option like a fully off-road-kitted Toyota Landcruiser wagon in either the 200 or 70 series. But I’d happily also have the new 2019 +600hp Audi RS6 C8 in the garage for getting around town when it comes out.